Son with Bayer Leverkusen in 2013
|Date of birth||8 July 1992|
|Place of birth||Chuncheon, Gangwon, South Korea|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|2008–2009||South Korea U17||15||(7)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 25 October 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
|Revised Romanization||Son Heung-min|
As "a pacey, two-footed second striker, Son can play a number of attacking positions, and has consistently shown that he is a lethal finisher in front of goal."
In 2008, Son dropped out of FC Seoul U-18 Team – Dongbuk High School and joined Hamburg's youth academy at the age of 16. He was impressive in the 2010–11 preseason, leading the team with nine goals and signed his first professional contract on his 18th birthday. After scoring against Chelsea in August, he was injured for two months due to a foot injury. He came back on 30 October 2010 scoring his first league goal against 1. FC Köln in the 24th minute. The goal made Son the youngest HSV player to have scored a goal in Bundesliga at 18 years, thus breaking the previous 39-year record held by Manfred Kaltz.
Son signed a new deal with Hamburg, which would keep him at the club until 2014. It was stated, that Son had what it takes to become the next Cha Bum-Kun, a legendary Bundesliga forward, who is of the same nationality as Son.
During the 2011–12 pre-season, Son scored 18 goals in 9 games. After missing the opening game due to a fever, Son scored two goals within three games. Unfortunately, mirroring last season, Son picked up an ankle injury in the 4–3 loss to 1. FC Köln on 27 August and was initially projected to be out of action for four to six weeks. Fortunately, Son's recovery was quicker than expected, and he returned to action only three weeks later as a substitute in the 1–0 loss against Borussia Mönchengladbach on 17 September. Over the course of the 2011–12 season, Son made 30 appearances for Hamburg and scored 5 goals, including crucial goals against Hannover and Nurnberg at the end of the season to help ensure that Hamburg remained in the Bundesliga.
Following Hamburger SV's 2012–13 off-season moves, which saw the transfers of the team's strikers Mladen Petrić and Paolo Guerrero to Fulham and Corinthians respectively, manager Thorsten Fink chose to place Son in a starting role for the team. The 2012–13 season was a breakthrough season for Son as he scored two goals in the away fixture against Borussia Dortmund on 9 February 2013, helping his side to a 4–1 victory. Son was chosen Mann des Tages (Man of the Match) by Kicker.
On 14 April 2013, Son netted two goals in a 2–1 win against Mainz. He finished the season with 12 goals, becoming the fourth Asian footballer to achieve double-digits in goals in the 'Big 3' European football leagues.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen
On 13 June 2013, Bayer 04 Leverkusen confirmed Son's transfer for reportedly 10 million euros, the highest transfer fee the club has ever paid in its history. Son agreed to a five-year deal with the team. Son adjusted quickly to his new club in the preseason, scoring three goals in his first three appearances for the team in exhibition matches (against 1860 Munich, Udinese, and KAS Eupen respectively).
On 9 November 2013, Son scored a hat-trick for Leverkusen in a 5–3 win against his former club Hamburg. On 7 December, Son scored a crucial goal against Borussia Dortmund to put his club just four points off the summit of the Bundesliga. On 10 March 2014, Son scored another goal against Werder Bremen ensuring his team a spot for the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League.
Son has made multiple appearances for South Korea at the senior level, netting one goal in the process against India in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. Former South Korea national team coach Cho Kwang-Rae acknowledged that Son had not been given enough chances at the international level and promised greater consideration for Son's role in future matches. After initially missing the first two games of South Korea's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign on 2 and 6 September 2011 due to an ankle injury, on 7 October Son played in a friendly against Poland, and was again featured in the 11 October World Cup qualifier against the United Arab Emirates. His selection for national team play was a point of concern for Son's father, however, who caused a stir by asking the Korea Football Association not to select his son for the national team in the immediate future so he can rest and mature more as a player. Cho Kwang-Rae (who was the South Korea coach at the time) responded by saying that he would continue to call up Son when needed.
Son turned down the opportunity to participate in the 2012 London Olympics, opting to concentrate on his club career at Hamburg. Son was quoted as saying, "In Korea, an Olympic appearance has a special meaning, but I want to speed up for Hamburg. What matters is to pour all my time into team training." Son did, however, play for the national team in the autumn of 2012 for two 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon and Iran, and has become a regular call-up in friendlies and World Cup qualifying matches in 2013. In the World Cup qualifier against Qatar on 23 March 2013, Son came on as a substitute in the 81st minute and scored the winning goal in the 96th minute.
The Korea Football Association requested Leverkusen to allow Son to play in the 2014 Asian Games, as winning the gold medal at the tournament would grant Son exemption from military service. Despite Son affirming his interest and KFA's efforts, Leverkusen refused to release him, as Son's absence would mean the team would lose him for at least six games.
- As of 25 October 2014
|1.||18 January 2011||Al Gharafa Stadium, Doha, Qatar||India||4–1||4–1||2011 AFC Asian Cup|
|2.||26 March 2013||Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||Qatar||2–1||2–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier|
|3.||6 September 2013||Incheon Football Stadium, Incheon, South Korea||Haiti||1–0||4–1||Friendly|
|5.||15 October 2013||Cheonan Stadium, Cheonan, South Korea||Mali||2–1||3–1||Friendly|
|6.||5 March 2014||Karaiskakis Stadium, Athens, Greece||Greece||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|7.||22 June 2014||Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, Brazil||Algeria||1–3||2–4||2014 FIFA World Cup|
- Bundesliga Rookie of the Year: 2010
- AFC Asia's Team of the Year: 2012
- KFA Footballer of the Year: 2013
Style of play
Son is known as a versatile attacker due to his ability to use both feet equally well; although he often played the role of a second striker with Hamburg, he can play either as a second striker as well as even a first striker. Son has confirmed this, saying, "I don't care where I play. The main thing is I'm in the game. I can play as a second striker or behind. What the coach says, I'll do. I don't have a favorite position. I'll be anywhere and always on the throttle." Other strengths of Son include his explosive pace, dribbling abilities, composure in front of goal, and hard-working nature.
Son's father is a retired football player turned manager who also once played for the South Korea national football team.
On 28 July 2014, pictures of Son and Girl's Day's Minah dating was posted, however it was denied by Minah's agency DreamT Entertainment. On the same day, Minah's agency then apologised and confirmed that the two was in fact dating.
On 15 October 2014, it has been confirmed that the two broke up. It was reported that the couple have broken up due to their busy schedules and difficulties of maintaining long-distance relationship.
Son Heung-min was FC Seoul U-18 team player. He was a ball boy in Seoul World Cup Stadium during FC Seoul home matches. At that time, after watching a play by Lee Chung-Yong (former FC Seoul star player), he dreamt of someday becoming a professional player.
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- "Koo Ja-Cheol, Park Ji-Sung & the top five South Koreans in Europe for the 2011–12 season". goal.com. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
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- "Leverkusen beat Bremen to seal Champions League play-offs". Bundesliga. 10 May 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- Melzer, Oliver. "South Korea coach Cho Kwang-Rae delighted with Son Heung Min's Goal Against Hertha Berlin". Bettor.com. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
- "Korea to count on domestic stars for World Cup qualifier". The Korea Times. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
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- "Korea coach Cho Kwang-Rae to ignore Son Heung-Min's father's claims not to select the Hamburg youngster". goal.com. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Son Heung-Min to Miss London Olympics to Focus on Hamburg". Goal.com. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "Heung-Min Son Bio". ESPN. 20 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "Son Heung-min scorches Qatar with late South Korean winner". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 March 2013.[dead link]
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- "Son Heung-min Won't Be Able to Play at Asian Games". The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- Rebien, Florian (30 July 2011). "Wie viele Tore schießen Sie heute, Herr Son?" [How many goals will you score today, Mr. Son?] (in German). Hamburger Morgenpost. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- "Son Heung-Min – A look at Hamburg's attacking Korean starlet". IMScouting. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
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- "손흥민 "첫 월드컵 안 두렵다" 이청용 "지성형 몫은 내가"" (in Korean). Sports Kyunghyang. 16 May 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Son Heung-Min.|
- Son Heung-Min Official Facebook at facebook.com
- Son Heung-Min Profile at HSV.de
- Son Heung-min at National-Football-Teams.com